Rome settles railway line dispute - for now
The Lega is for it, Five Star is against it: the row over the high-speed train connection between Turin and Lyon threatens to break up the coalition government in Italy. Now the two sides have agreed to postpone the decision on the project for six months. The contracts are to be offered for tenders but the details of the financing won't be discussed for the time being. Can this solution save the government?
Populists have reached normality
The solution presented by Lega and the Five Star Movement is no better than what the established parties have to offer, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung scoffs:
“We can't agree? No problem, we'll postpone the decision. The fact that the elections to the European Parliament will take place before the new date is naturally pure coincidence and played no role here. Because not only are the populists the most effective politicians under the sun, they're also always honest. It would have been nice, however, if those in power had learned that practical constraints are not per se a bad thing in politics.”
Crisis coming - with or without train to Lyon
Postponed is not cancelled, columnist Paolo Mieli predicts in Corriere della Sera:
“A governing coalition is free to decide not to decide. Once. Twice. Three times. But over and above the fact that every postponement has its price - namely an incalculable loss of credibility - the decision can't be put off forever. In this particular case the moment when the decision is taken will coincide with a government crisis that will bring early elections. This moment will no doubt come suddenly, perhaps on a pretext that has nothing to do with the Turin-Lyon railway line.”